Sunday, November 21, 2004
Just a tidbit of information, may be as a follow-up to the "Will Hindus Ever Rise?" piece.
At my workplace, Indians make up around 40% of the workforce. The Veerapan encounter made big news and people were talking about it even a couple of days after the fact. In stark contrast, the dentention of the Shankaracharya did not even merit a passing mention during the daily unofficial Indian "tea kadai" conversations.
40% of Indians in a company is a sizeable population. The fact that the arrest of a person like the Acharya did not even merit casual conversation leads to me ask a question - Is the Hindu psyche really shaken? To me it appears that people could care less about what happens to the Shankaracharya (believe it or not, Verappan was relatively more important!). And does it go back to the century-old grief over casteism and the fact that the Mutt has been traditionally pro-TamBrahm? May be it is the demographic make up of my esteemed Indian colleagues - 96-97% Telugu-speaking leaving less than a handful of Tamilians and 1 or 2 Northerners.
If this sampling of population is representative of the "Hindu psyche", it is understandable, but not justifiable, that the "Hindus will never rise". From various message boards it appears that many non-brahmins really don't give a damn about the Mitt, and truly concerned Hindus (brahmin and non-brahmin alike) give a damn but don't do a damn (and that includes me, unfortunately).
Did the Mutt under Sri Jayendra Saraswathi work for Dalits and the less-privileged in vain? Is the hatred for anything brahmin still so deep rooted that all the good work the mutt continues to do for Tamilians in general results in this massive no-show of support?
Will this episode provoke a renewed series of Hindu bashing in India that our secular parties are so adept at, and the Brahmin-baiting reminiscent of the 1960's and 1970's in Tamilnadu? That remains to be seen and it all rests on the outcome of the current situation...
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